This is a moving story of how Laughter Yoga helped Judy Mikeska bond with her 83-year-old mother and transformed her relationship with her forever.This story was sent by Monnet Zubeit, a certified Laughter Yoga Teacher in the USA.
I have an 83-year-old mother, but unfortunately we’ve not had a great relationship since the last 40 years. Looking after her has been a difficult task and has left me bitter and frustrated. Though, sincerely saying “I love you, Mom” has been on my bucket list for long, I was not able to break the ice. I had been praying for something to bring us closer, especially as mother is getting older.
I subscribed to a web group called “Freecycle” a couple of years ago, which is a group where people can offer things they want to get rid of or ask for something they need. I get several e-mails which I normally delete. But, one day, I received an email from someone looking for a portable dishwasher. For some reason, I was inspired to open it, even though I did not have a portable dishwasher to give away. The mail was from Elizabeth Wilson, a Laughter Leader and at the bottom was her signature which included “Laughter Leader” and “laughteryoga.org”. I was intrigued and immediately logged on to the site. This was my first introduction to Laughter Yoga. I was so impressed by the concept that I wanted to know it further and I sent a mail to Elizabeth to ask her how she became a Laughter Leader.
I then found out about Monnet Zubeita, a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader, who incorporated Laughter with her Communication classes. I registered for her classes and during my very first Laughter Session, I had a wonderful experience of Forgiveness, while doing Lying Down Laughter. I had so many flashbacks of people I wanted to forgive. So, this was my chance to say "Goodbye". It made me feel good and was a terrific release. I was so happy that Laughter brought my emotions out.
At the end of the first day of training, we were given an assignment to prepare the Laughter Session for the next day. We had to choose some Laughter Exercises from the Training Manual, and make up a couple of our own. I went home and asked my mother to help me with my homework. She was only too willing, and got right into it. She suggested Tying your Shoelace Laughter. I first thought it didn’t sound too funny, but then seeing her Laugh hysterically as she pretended to tie her Shoelaces, was a turning point in my life. I hadn’t seen her like this in years. She never Laughs, hardly ever, but this was something rare. It was a huge step for her to have the ability to Laugh at 83! It was awesome! She Laughed and Laughed, and then I started Laughing. We Laughed and howled together for almost half an hour.
It was an absolutely moving moment for me. I hugged my mother, and we got the opportunity to share pure joy from that experience. I was able to say, ‘I love you’ spontaneously and genuinely. Earlier, I used to mutter something horrible under my breath like, ‘yeah, but not much…’ Remembering those times, I felt awful. When my mother responded, and said, ‘I love you too’, there was a sweet little giggle from her. And for that I am very grateful. I feel like we will have a different relationship forever now - thanks to Laughter Yoga Exercise.
My mother and I will soon be starting a Laughter Club at the Senior Center where she lives, and we hope to bring more Joy and Laughter into the lives of people, especially those like me who are unable to express their feelings and emotions freely. Laughter Yoga will definitely be able to help them as it helped me.
Love & laughter,
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